of Rosh Hashanah we ask Hashem to remember the
, the binding of Isaac. In the
section of the
we refer to the
blasts at Sinai. What is the connecting theme between the
and Sinai? And if Rosh Hashanah is the Day of Judgment, why don
t we mention
(confession) at all?
Rabbi Walkin notes that the
associated with the other holidays don
t constitute the essence of that holiday. Eating or not eating
does not change Pesach, but listening to the
makes Rosh Hashanah
. The purpose of the
is to arouse our hearts to
as the Rambam writes,
Wake up, sleepers from your sleep
examine your deeds and perform repentance."
What is this sleep?
Rabbi Schwab on Prayer
observes that removing sleep from our eyes is part of the morning blessings, but it appears out of place, as the last of the blessings instead of the first. Perhaps it is different from the daily sleep we experience each night. After Hashem created Adam, He put him into a deep, trance-like sleep in order to separate him and form Chava. Before this sleep, Adam was fully conscious of God
s presence. Then Hashem put him to sleep. But the Torah never says that Adam awoke. Adam and all mankind has been in that sleep state now for thousands of years. The goal of the
blast is to wake us up to the level of consciousness Man had before that sleep, a consciousness we experienced as isolated flashes in our history, such as during the Exodus, the splitting of the Sea, and at Har Sinai.
How can we try to actualize this consciousness? Our first thought upon hearing the
must be that I am doing God
s will. Whether or not I understand the reason for the
, I submit myself fully to His will as we did at Sinai. The service of the day, writes Rav Lugassi, is to connect to God as our King, to be totally dependent on Him, and to submit completely to Him. For this reason a
from a cow
s horn is not kosher for Rosh Hashanah, for it is reminiscent of the golden calf, notes the Talmud. When we blow the
, explains the Talalei Chaim, we should imagine ourselves in a state of intimacy with Hashem, akin to that of the
on Yom Kippur when he entered the Holy of Holies.
This world is a world of mistakes and trancelike sleep. The
lets us enter the Holy of Holies within ourselves and puts us in contact with our pure souls, for the only way you can blow the
is by releasing your breath into it, the breath through which God blew the soul into Man at creation.
The sound and shape of the
are meant to break through barriers, to bring us from the narrow point of our lives to open, unconstricted space. We can imagine Hashem Himself blowing the
and calling us back to Him, writes the
The very sounds of the
are symbolic of the message of hope for the New Year, writes Rabbi Y. Emett. Citing Rav A. Soloveitchik, he explains that we are in the troubled state of
, entangled if not in sin itself, at least in the uncertainty of life. But we started with a strong
of our past, of the pure
at our source, and we end with the strong
of hope for purity in the future. Just as Abraham
s ram was caught in the thicket by its horns, so are we caught in the entanglements of our sins and troubles all year. Hashem commanded us to take a
to remind us that we need to wake up and change our routine to enable us to get out of our entanglements, and then to end with hope that we can return to that initial pure state.
According to one opinion, on Rosh Hashana Hashem conceived the idea of creating the world. So too, writes the
, on this day we go back to the state of thought. Just as Hashem
before He took action, so must we think before we do.
says we are responsible for our thoughts as well as for our actions. In action, circumstances can get in the way of our performance, but nothing can stand in the way of our desire. Our desire itself must be strong and pure. On Rosh Hashanah we are being judged for our thoughts and the strength of our desire to be close to Hashem.
Rabbi Kluger notes that there are three books open before Hashem on Rosh Hashanah, the Books of Life, of Death, and of the In Between. These are the imprints in our minds according to our priorities. If God
s will is primary, if what we desire is to do His will - even though we often do not succeed - we are in the Book of Life. If earthly pleasures are primary, we are already in the Book of Death. Most of us are in the middle. What motivates the individual will outweigh his actions.
One is judged according to one's current priorities, not the future or the past. We don
on Rosh Hashanah, because Rosh Hashanah is about finding out where we are and making concrete changes, of going back to a place of purity. We ask Hashem to help us improve ourselves and lead us back to Him.
blasts enter our souls and awaken our desire to do His will.